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After making his first relief appearance during the thirteen inning, rain-delayed marathon Wednesday night, Daisuke Matsuzaka entered Sunday’s game coming off a one inning outing where he allowed two runs and took the loss. With a recent history of success, including 2007’s Mother’s Day Miracle against the Orioles, the Red Sox looked to build upon Saturday’s win.
A thirty-four pitch first inning that saw the Twins score three times was likely not what Terry Francona’s team had in mind, but Carl Pavano proved to be more vulnerable than his Boston counterpart and Twins skipper Ron Gardenhire left his pitcher on the mound for five innings, surrendering seven runs in the process.
The third inning was the big inning for the Boston today and it saw the Sox score four times. Carl Crawford started things off with a lead-off triple and scored on a Jason Varitek grounder to first. Gonzalez then drove in Jacoby Ellsbury to tie the score at three. Kevin Youkilis, who had two hits on the day and scored four of the Sox nine runs, drove in Dustin Pedroia and then scored himself on a single by J.D. Drew, putting the Sox up 5-3.
While the Twins would score another run off Matsuzaka, and grab one more run in the eighth, the Red Sox never relinquished their lead, adding a pair of runs in both the fifth and seventh innings.
Jose Iglesias, just called up to replace the injured Marco Scutaro, made his major league debut in the top of the ninth inning, taking over defensively for Jed Lowrie. After Bard induced a groundout and strikeout, the final out was made by the Sox shortstop of the future as Alexi Casila grounded out to end the game.
It was almost a two man show today as Youk and Gonzo combined to score six runs, drive in three and rack up five of the Sox 14 hits.
While he did knock in a run today, the Red Sox Captain went 0-4 with a strikeout and ended the day hitting just .128. With the Red Sox reportedly in contact with Bengie Molina, does Varitek’s value behind the plate offset his offensive deficiencies or could Jarrod Saltalamacchia find himself out of a job instead?
W: Daisuke Matsuzaka (3-3)
L: Carl Pavano (2-4)